Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    April 25, 2011 8:00pm-8:30pm PDT

8:00 pm
later on? >> no, we select somebody who is qualified in our estimation and in the estimation of the people who work for us. however, they still have to pass the test. they know that from the get go. but we are not selecting people who are not qualified for positions. we are selecting people who are qualified but just have not, because of circumstances of the test not being available, have not been able to actually take the test. there are a lot of people who take the test and then the test is not -- results have not been announced, and we have a good thing going of the people, but either you keep -- aided inkling of the people, but either you keep the people, and take care of the needs that have been identified by the commission in terms of quick staffing -- you know, it is a fine balance.
8:01 pm
we as much as we can make sure that we bring in people from the beginning that are qualified to be able to meet the standards of the city. >> is that an age our decision -- is that an hr decision? >> it is hr and the department head. >> one of the things that is confusing is the assumption is that the person takes a test and someone is there to score it just in the scholastic since. the problem is that when you have physicians like the one that pam is talking about, you could have as many as 100 people applying for a job, and all of these tests or exams have to be weighed equally -- when you have physicians like the one ham is talking about. that is really what takes a long time. you have so many people in this economy applying for the same job. one analyst is looking at every
8:02 pm
application and everyone the same way, so it holds up to the challenges if someone has to decide that they were not chosen and that it was unfair. so it ends up taking a very long time. it is part of the law. you have to have the situation because you are hiring people with tax dollars. you have a situation where you have to make sure that there is no patronage involved in the examination process, and that is really a lot of what we're talking about, and that is why it takes a very long time, but provisional employees, and the other part of the is you have provisional employees that come in who have not taken the eggs and yet, and they can be -- to have not taken the exam yet, and they can be waiting for three years. only the board of supervisors can increase that, but then you still have people look at the end of the three years still have not taken an examination.
8:03 pm
it is a long process, and believe me, many city employees are not happy about that. primarily because they have had a job for two years, and then they find out that they have to take an examination and have to be reachable on the test date because if they are not, then they are out of a job and somebody else moves in who can actually score on the examination. i have a feeling that is the part that is missing here. it just takes a long time to get an examination scored and put through. >> ok, any other comments? >> i love to see people hired and put back to work, but right now, this is something they should put off on the fourth quarter or beginning of 2012. just because we have got a few bucks does not mean we need to run down the street and spend it
8:04 pm
right away. we need to be cautious. that is all i'm saying. also, might be a good idea to have an outside of value it take a look at the budget and come up with figures that could convince me, and i'm not convinced. commissioner walker: we passed a budget, and i would say we should probably move on and let the director do her job. >> i do have one other question. and article came out recently with regards to the surge in permits boost hiring of the department of inspections. there was also a summary where it was titled return to a boom town where they added in my math is simply adding up revenues and expenditures, it shows where our
8:05 pm
department is in the red by 8.1. if that number came out or through, we are in the black right now? >> i am not familiar. i do know in terms of the other articles that basically, the -- we were asked by the reporter to, in terms of the financials, to talk about the return to work of the people that were cut a couple of years ago and how our revenues and expenses in those reported the same. i checked all of the numbers, and those are exactly the same as we reported in terms of when we submitted the budget. what they failed to explain is that one, that the reason our revenues are high is because -- remember, i explained to you
8:06 pm
about the intergovernmental agreements that we had. so those were showing that we had a huge surge in revenue of which, the ongoing revenues, if you will, those not associated with the puc building and those -- it goes back to the smaller growth that we saw, you know, in the budget. the other thing is when it comes to the difference between revenues and expenditures, we have been -- since the time where i started when we were looking at borrowing money from the general fund in order to even make our budget to the tune of about $7 million, and we ended the year at about $500,000 in terms of the difference between our revenue and expenses, we have been holding
8:07 pm
back. we have been making sure that we are approving expenses carefully and with a lot of forethought. we have been making sure that we have been reviewing the positions that we are filling to make sure that we will not end up with a situation where we hire physicians and then have to lay them off in the future. so i am familiar with that chart, but i'm not sure if it was a different charge in another article. >> the information on that chart is incorrect. the notice, it projects the current year budget that -- >> i was just adding the from 2007 through 2010. not the projected. just the -- and there is a
8:08 pm
negative. >> these kinds of charts are always ambiguous. in this case -- >> well, we have our name on it. >> the source is incorrect because that is not the correct figure for the projected expenses for this year. that is what i'm saying. i do not know what they might say, but that is not our information. it is not accurate. >> i was just asked to give you -- >> i just want to make sure that any information we make and put out there that has the department of inspection's name on it is correct. >> the information that was provided to you at the time that we did the budget in january, the end of december projected revenues and expenses at a certain level. as we go on, we get more information, we present a higher. this reporter in this come to ur any updated information. i believe it is a man.
8:09 pm
he went and looked at our budget documents that we did when we did the budget back in december. remember, we have always talked about the fact that it is very difficult to do any projection based on three months or six months of expenses, so those change. i also have to go back and look at -- he picked up -- whether or not what he picked up in terms of expenditures, but we do know that there was a point in time where we had to use significant amounts of one-time revenues. we did our deferred credits. we basically use about 3 million of those. we looked at -- we closed a bunch of projects in order to balance the budget, so i need to go back and look at what they did, but as i said, this was not provided to them the day before,
8:10 pm
whatever they asked for, nor did they ask for any sort of explanation on the numbers or anything. i totally agree that these kinds of things should be looked at. it is just i was not aware that you were going to do this. >> maybe we should just have our public information officer give an accurate chart, and if they choose to run it -- >> or follow up with them. >> i have to be honest with you. i do not really what staff spending a lot of time on -- quite frankly, stuff from the examiner. we are talking about -- we just had a presenter talking about what would happen in a major earthquake. the people that will be responding to it are all city employees. it's not going to be people from the examiner or folks in different business groups. we are talking about a city employees that will be
8:11 pm
responding to these things. these types of articles are not helpful in creating any type of environment where people will be feeling good about their work. not only that, but the title is very deceptive. it is talking about a boom in hiring when we are talking about bringing people back who were laid off. that is bringing the thing is to a place where they were a few years ago. as the title in itself is just not very accurate. the again, it is -- i remember being on this board when we were reacting to every single thing that was going on in the paper. it was very difficult to -- at least for me -- to have a peaceful week. there were constant meetings when things were happening, and i just feel as though the time is not best used -- i do believe we should respond and there should be some type of response to these inaccurate numbers, but that is something that we
8:12 pm
could be doing all day long if they chose to start writing things that are just not accurate. >> the only point that i would add is that reporters normally do not write headlines. as much as i agree with commissioner romero that characterizing something as a boon when if you read the numbers, you would not interpret them that way, the reporter normally does not write that headline. i always think it is a good idea to provide people with accurate information, and we do the best to our ability. this call came in from out of the blue. they already have the document that was presented to the commission from late january as pamela has just explained. they did not really follow up with any detailed questions. it is really just a matter of making sure that we provide them
8:13 pm
the information that we have as accurately as possible, and, of course, we are happy to do that. >> who came up with the name boom town? >> one of their editors. he would be nameless or she would be nameless. >> thank you. >> is there any public comment on item 7a? >> i have a public comment on 7a. my name is great gardener. i am with an organization called san francisco coalition for responsible growth, and we are a group of businesses, both large and small. a large percentage is development, construction, architectural engineering
8:14 pm
industry. we would like to make a couple of commons. first on budgeting and finance. we would like to see the figures be accurate, first, and everyone on the same page. because if you are not, we find it almost impossible to make any decisions about hiring or any other thing if you do not have those figures correct initially. in regards to hiring, we feel that efficiency is the key to employment. you want to make sure that your current employees are working as efficient as possible before you determine that you need more employees. we are concerned that the permitting happens quickly and efficiently, and we feel that if that happens, then the revenue will be generated, and at that
8:15 pm
point, you will have more money coming in, and you will be in a position to possibly need additional help, but at this point, we do not really see that happening right now. we think that the focus needs to be on efficiency in the department, and that some of this other stuff will take care of itself if that happens. thank you. >> [inaudible] and president of employees for responsible growth. i would agree with the need of an additional mechanical engineer. the fifth floor, and as all know, about 92% of permits in san francisco are issued over the counter. some of the small remodels will require a quick mechanical review, such as title 24 or some ventilation or heating issues.
8:16 pm
unfortunately, the mechanical review division has a backlog of about three weeks or so. i think it would be prudent to bring in another mechanical engineer and make sure the process of over-the-counter permitting, and what i have seen as a very successful fifth floor process, was just laughing mechanical review, and most of that review will consist of looking at title 24 reports, and that can be done pretty quickly. i urge you to bring in a mechanical engineer to assist with an over the counter permitting process. thank you. >> thank you. >> is there any further public comment? item 7b, a bit on proposed legislation. >> i have no update on proposed legislation at this time. >> public comment on item 7b? item 7c, but did not permit
8:17 pm
tracking system. then the deputy director, administrative services. we are tracking against our schedule for the permit tracking system. we provided you a chart that shows that we have completed the demonstration portion of the evaluation process. and the third is the presentation to the steering committee, which will happen in the beginning of may. something -- the presentation has slipped a little bit because the vacations and schedules of the senior policymakers of the city in terms of being able to produce a fait, so we are scheduled now, and we are moving along.
8:18 pm
>> have the demonstrations been executed? i think there was a demo. >> they occurred last week. >> ok. thanks. >> is there any public comment on item 7c? >> good morning, commissioners. i did hear that there has been some activity on the permit tracking system. i feel in my own gut instinct that having this agenda item, given the exposure that has been given over the last three or four months, has focused resources on this project that i think is very important for the city, and i'm glad to see that there is activity taking place
8:19 pm
on it. i really appreciate that. i would have loved to have heard just a little bit more last week with the testing in demonstration and just been able to get a feel for what happened and the response and feeling and action of the staff, what they witnessed. would be very helpful. i kind of feel like we are in the dark as far as the activities are concerned. but grateful to see the overall progress being made. it is good reason to keep this item on the agenda. i will keep tracking this year not to play upon words, monitored and hopefully see it moving forward as quickly as possible. >> probably, given that it is still an ongoing selection
8:20 pm
process, that some of the details of what those results cannot be made public at this point in time. >> any additional public comment? item sevend -- 7d. >> i actually provided you with two charts regarding the permits issued, since july 1, 2010, and the permits that are filed but not issued as of july 1, 2010. as you can see, we have several large projects on this. these are all projects over $1 million. these are not all the projects in the department. these are just projects over $1 million. some of the permits that were issued were side permits coming through for agendas in their first construction documents, so they are proceeding on that.
8:21 pm
again, as i stated last month, i did talk to the representative for the second tower on ringtone hill about getting the permit reinstated and what it would take to do that. that is another one that is out there. i am working with hunters point and hunters view right there in address in all of the units they are bringing in for permitting. we are going through a lot of the smaller projects under $1 million that are for the condo conversions now that are going out there, so that is passing now. we will be updating you monthly with an updated list monthly from now on on the projects that are issued each month and that are filed each month. whether they be over $1 million or whatever they are, and it will be a list similar to this. if you want more information, i can pull it from the permits, but a lot of people do not wish to have their contractor names
8:22 pm
on the list and made public right now. so we have not provided that. >> would you be able to add square footage? >> no, i cannot. that information has never been collected by our computer system and never entered into the computer system. it would only be under the description. that is something the future permit system will do, though. >> good. commissioners, questions? anything on america's cup to be added in the future? >> i do not know that at this point. we are talking with the committee on the america's cup. as you know, jeremy from our department is working on this project with the mayor's office. we will be involved in that in some way. >> is he still part of the apartment? >> jeremy is still part of our
8:23 pm
department. he will probably transfer to the mayor's department july 1 of next year. and that is there any public comment on the item 7d -- >> is there any public comment on item 7d? >> good morning, commissioners. san francisco coalition for responsible growth. as i was looking at the agenda, i figured that this one was probably an update on other activities affecting the administration and the department. what i will say will include comments i am getting from the public as well as ideas and suggestions that i might have within myself. i think it is probably fair to say that the department is running reasonably well, thanks
8:24 pm
to some of the changes that were pioneered by this commission over the last year or so with the fifth floor. but i think that some of the things that could help -- i interact with staff there on a regular basis, and sometimes, it feels as though they feel disconnected from the people at the top on the executive level, that there could be more interaction. i personally would suggest that like a hotel manager or person running a business that wants to attract the public into their business, to do business with them, that they are seen on the floor, that they are in the trenches with the people doing the day-to-day operations, interacting with them, talking to the staff, asking how their day is going. just be seen more often throughout the building interacting with the staff, and
8:25 pm
even meeting customers coming through the door. shake their hand. you would be amazed at the kind of responses you would get for that kind of interaction. it would raise morale. it would be favored by people. they would be very impressed by that. another suggestion i would like to make -- the death knell of leadership is a lack of delegation. i suffer from the same affliction myself from time to time. my peers will tell me that i need to learn to let someone else take over responsibility and let them run with it. they are quite capable of doing it. not being able to do the -- not able to do the.
8:26 pm
just some suggestions. i mentioned automating the report a couple of months ago. i did not think anybody -- anything has happened on that. i think it will be really easy to run with that. just an example. so i encourage that. thank you very much. >> as far as interacting between employees and the department, some of the feedback we get is that they are not being listened to as much as they would like to be listened to. you can get that in almost any department, but i think if there were a mechanism where they could get together and talk about how they feel about the process, that might be helpful. also, we are involved in the
8:27 pm
public advisory committee, and that is going fairly well, but we would like to expand that. hopefully, get the commission more involved in the process. if there is a way for you to get involved and kind of over see what happens there. we also understand that you periodically have meetings with the planning commission. we feel it is imperative to get planning involved with what is going on in the building department. we feel that there is a disconnect there, that is really hindering the process. we felt that it started when they left the building. you know, when they were able to go over and have their own offices away from what was happening at the building department, they were able to set up, you know, their own
8:28 pm
institution and pretty much dictate their involvement with dbi, which has been subject at this point. maybe there is some way that you guys can think of to get them back in the picture more, get us all back together and on the same page. because we find that a lot of the process issues are with planning. you know, if you could help us with that, we would appreciate it. thank you. >> is there any further public comment? item eight, commissioner question -- them and may i make one more? -- >> may i make one more? i would like to make a couple of comments. i just came off a couple of years -- a couple of terms as
8:29 pm
president, and they went with many suggestions from our stakeholders, homeowners, contractors, whatever. some of our staff with some ideas to make moves for the department. the answer was always yes, but it never happened. getting some cash shares, training them. we were really short on cash years for about a year and people to collect money, just take the checks. we did not get that done. instead of it cannot be done, let's ask why not? let's ask why not? why can it not be done?